MY AUSA Journey By: Bun Penghuy

MY AUSA Journey-1

By: Bun Penghuy

AUSA is an abbreviation for ASEAN University Student Assembly, which is co-organized by Chulalongkorn University and Thammasat University. This year it was held from April 5 – 11, 2015, in Bangkok, Thailand. This unique assembly brought students together from different universities in the ASEAN region to share cultures, discuss about various matters in the region, share opinions on certain topics, and establish long-lasting friendships.

The first day of the assembly, students were warmly welcomed by the organizers. A welcome party was specially designed and organized for delegates from the 10 countries. It was not only a welcome party, but also a chance for the delegates to make new friends with other people from each country. Mr. Bun Penghuy, a student from the University of Cambodia, joined this assembly as a delegate. He made friends with a lot of people, especially those from Indonesia and Thailand. During the party we ate, danced and played together. Moreover, all the delegates were divided into groups consisting of people from different countries. Each group had to do a cultural performance that represented ASEAN as one community. What was also good in this assembly is that all delegates were to share a room with a delegate of a different nationality.

There were 4 activities to complete on the second day (6 April 2015). The event started with an opening ceremony at the Thammasat University, Ta Phrachan campus. After that, all the delegates listened to a lecture by Miss. Phasporn Sangasubana, Deputy Director-General of the Department of ASEAN Affairs, on the topic of, “Light Up ASEAN Spirit: molding identity in the ASEAN way.” She gave clear and comprehensive information regarding ASEAN efforts to reach the goal of ASEAN Integration in 2015. Additionally, she mentioned the opportunities and challenges of ASEAN. After the lecture, we embarked on a campus tour of Thammasat University. It was a hot and tiring day; yet, those delegates were still eager to learn about the university. Some people said that they would apply to study at this university for their master degree in the future. Following the campus tour, the delegates watched a debate between students from Chulalongkorn University and those from Thammasat University. They debated on the topic, “The cultural differences among ASEAN member nations is A GREAT hindrance to integration”. After the debate, the audience gave comments on the debate and shared their views on the topic.

The 3rd day we went to another campus of Thammast University. Mr. Phanpob Plangprayoon, Director of the Economic Division of the Department of ASEAN Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, gave a lecture on the topic, “Inspire ASEAN as one: ASEAN’s path forward.” The delegates were then assigned to different rooms to learn more about specific topics including: corruption and politics, education system, economic growth in AEC, energy and environment, and social discrimination. We listened to the lecture, answered the questions from both the presenter and the fellow delegates, debated the different perspectives as a representative of each country, and found solutions to each problem as an ASEAN citizen. In the afternoon, another discussion was brought to all the delegates. This time, the delegates also needed to present their discussion to others on the 4th day; we had to present a solution to each problem. It was the hardest, but most interesting part of the program. Each representative raised ideas and debated so that we could come to a conclusion with a good outline and solutions.

The 4th day was another tough day for the delegates because they had to present their discussion outcomes to the other delegates. Each group had 10 minutes to present their points. Everyone seemed so enthusiastic to present his or her ideas on the stage. In the afternoon, we had a great time at the Ancient City in Samut Prakarn province. Once again we held a competition, this time to find places and answer certain questions in order to be the winner. During the game, we learned about cultures of different countries, especially Thai culture.

The last day was the campus tour at Chulalongkorn University. What really impressed me was that there are 19 libraries in total on campus. Each faculty has its own library, and there is a big central library where the students can find materials for all faculties. In the afternoon, it was the closing ceremony. Everyone got a certificate of completion for this program. Finally, we had a farewell party, which was the last time for the delegates to play and learn together. It was also time for delegates to present their cultural performances. Some danced, some sang songs and the others did role-plays. All of the performances were about ASEAN integration.

I would like to give a huge thanks to the University of Cambodia for sending me to this most useful assembly. I believe I have contributed to the strength of ASEAN integration and the creation of an ASEAN identity by building strong relationships with delegates from other countries, and having a better understanding of the issues faced by ASEAN and the strengths we must draw on to unite as one region. I encourage all Cambodian youth to participate in integration as much as possible and to always be open, accepting and understanding to new cultures and ways of thinking. You may be surprised what you can learn and what good you can do for your nation.

MY AUSA Journey-2

MY AUSA Journey-3

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Outstanding Ms. Pheng Kaylan

What are your daily study habits?
“Normally I pay attention on listening in class. Back at home – especially before dinner, I review something I have learned; just briefly, not very detailed. I try to review before going back to class also. Normally
I will spend maybe one or two extra hours outside of class. I do also like to study extra, interesting things by searching the internet in my free time.”

Do you do anything different when studying for a quiz or exam?
“For the quiz or mid-term I always spend some extra time to review my notes, and to listen to the lectures. Again, since I have already paid very good attention in class, I just need to review and learn a little more.
With this way, I think it is really not very difficult. I also study with my friends a lot before the exam to share ideas and ask questions.”

Do you study at another university or have a job or internship?
“I study two universities. Of course it is very hard to separate all the different lessons. But like I mentioned before, the most important thing is to pay very good attention in the class, by doing that I can learn maybe 50-60% of the class.”

How do you manage your time and schedule?
“Actually, I use my phone because it’s good technology and it’s very easy to just list down all the things I need to do. I am not very good at separating my different majors but since they are similar, I can just learn them all together. For example, I can study 10 subjects at the same time, but I am not always interested in all of those subjects, so I will pay more attention on the classes I am interested in. I review all my cours

Being a student can be a very stressful and busy time, how do you manage your health?
“Oh, talking about stress… you know, sometimes it is very difficult to deal with stress. For example at UC I have mid-terms, but at RULE I have to prepare for a presentation. And when you put these together, it can be very difficult. But to deal with stress, I have a great friend and she always calls me out in order to walk around Riverside. When I feel a little sweaty, and I get to chat with my friend, I feel very good.”

What are your future plans?
“I want to get a job in the private or public sector. After two years of working experience, I will continue to my Master’s degree. I’d like to find a scholarship to study abroad for this.”

What advice can you give to other students who are hoping to be more successful next term?
“The first should be, do not ignore your own questions. I think that some students, when they have questions they dare not ask teacher. They don’t even care to find the answer, so I think it is a very big problem. The second one should be, be open. Yes, when you are open and present it means that you are able to accept ideas from other people. Another one, do not pressure yourself . Most students, when the exam is coming, feel very stressed because of the exam. When you feel stressed, go out – don’t review lesson because you will not remember anything. Wait until you are relaxed and then come back to it so you can work more effectively. The last one should be, you are not only working hard, but working smart as well.”

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UC Associate Dean Receives ASEAN Visiting Fellowship Award

By Chheang Sangvath

Mr.Chheang Sangvath (UC Associate Dean for College of Education and Director for Office of Student Academic Affairs) received an ASEAN Visiting Fellowship Award to attend Mahidol University’s Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities program in Thailand. The fellowship program is for a duration of 6 months, starting from December 1, 2013 to May 31, 2014. The fellowship
is part of Mahidol University program aimed at promoting faculty capacity building in teaching, research, and management at the post graduate level, in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities.

Also the program is designed to help Mr. Chheang integrate and prepare for his academic pursuit of a Ph.D. Last year, Mr. Chheang was accepted into the Doctor of Education Program in Educational Management from Mahidol University. Starting from January 2014 until December 2016, he will be working to perfect his professional and personal capacity in the educational sector to earn his Doctorate Degree.

During twelve years working with Higher Education Institutions, Mr.Chheang has been involved in teaching, research, evaluation, curriculum development, and other administrative work. At the completion of his program, he will return to the University of Cambodia, share and use his knowledge and experience to help the country constructive develop. The University of Cambodia partially funds the program and fully supports Mr. Chheang’s pursuit of his personal and professional development.

In addition, Mr. Jong provided tips on how to successfully adjust and adapt to life in Korea. He focused on
three mains areas:

1. How to prepare for study in Korea.
2. How to enjoy Korean life style.
3. How to get a job after study in Korea.

In the next 20 to 30 years there will be a decline in Korean student enrolment. The Korean government’s plan is to supplement student demand with international student enrolment. By providing scholarships to ASEAN member states, it not only helps increase student enrolment, also diversifies the Korean student body and diversifies perspectives and experience of ASEAN-Korea students studying in all Korean universities. Students interested in applying for a scholarship to study in Korea should be on the lookout for scholarship opportunities provided by the Korean government through their respected universities, follow KINSA online at, and do their own personal research and apply directly to Korea universities of their interest.

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UC Supports Staff Capacity Building

in the People’s Republic of China

By Sry Kimhong

Mr. Sry Kimhong (Administrative Assistant of the University of Cambodia) received Chinese government scholarship through the University of Cambodia to pursue a Master’s in Corporate Management at Shanghai University. The scholarship is fully funded by the Chinese government, covering tuition fee, and accommodation, with a living allowance for a period of three years, from August 2013 to July 2016.

The aim of the scholarship is to help build the capacity of young Cambodian managers in order to return and help Cambodia develop.

During the first 18 months of the program, Kimhong will need to complete all his major course work. The remaining year and half will be used to do field research, write up a research paper, and defend his Master’s thesis. There is a possibility of having his research published in a scholarly journal.

Mr. Sry Kimhong has worked for the University of Cambodia as part of UC’s dynamic administration team since October 2011. The University is proud to support Mr. Sry Kimhong in his academic endeavors. His pursuit of knowledge will not only bridge Cambodian and Chinese cultural differences, but bond the University of Cambodia to the People’s Republic of China.

“I am very grateful for the opportunity the University of Cambodia and the Chinese government have provided me for staff capacity building, inside and outside of the country, in order to enhance my education, skills, and experiences,” said Kimhong.

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Nara Sokhema pictured with certifi cate while attending the Youth Camp for Asian Future in South Korea in August 2009

Nara Sokhema, 19, is a third year student majoring in economics at The University of Cambodia (UC). She was also a recipient of the United States Institute for Student Leaders (SUSI) scholarship program in July 2010. SUSI is a study abroad program in the United States focused on environmental issues. After returning from the study program, she has committed to being a devoted activist for environmental conservation. She has volunteered, contributed, and shared what she has
learned about building a greener society to other citizens.

Q: Why should people care about the environment?

A: The environment affects everyone’s life. If we pollute the environment, there will be changes in nature, such as climate change, resource depletions, biodiversity loss, and ecosystem loss that will, in turn, harm the economy. It will affect the living standards of people and of society as a whole. Moreover, it will intensify natural disasters—such as floods, droughts, storms, and other disasters–that can claim human lives.

Q: What do you think about Cambodian people’s awareness of environmental issues?

A: Many Cambodian citizens know that the environment is important, but they have taken it for granted. They do not take much action in responding to the problems. Some people may think it is the responsibility of the government, or there are not enough environmental laws in place. A lack of proper incentives for and education focused on conservation are also major problems for environmental issues.

Q: How can an individual contribute to creating a greener society?

A: Actually, everyone can make a difference. First of all, they should start increasing their knowledge about the environment. Once they are educated, they should spread their knowledge to other people. Simultaneously, they should take action. For instance, they should reduce their consumption of resources, recycle products, and support environmental-friendly products.

Q: Please share your favorite experience or activity related to the environment.

A: I like hiking and visiting ecotourism communities, especially Bokor and Cham Bork because, with that, I can interact with people and talk about environmental issues. Surfing the Internet and watching documentaries about environmental problems and solutions are also some of my favorite activities because I can gain a deeper understanding of the issues.

Recently, I created workshops and youth camps for high school students focused on these issues because I like to share my knowledge with the younger generation.

Q: What did you learn about the environment through the SUSI program?

A: From SUSI, I learned a lot about environmental issues in the United States. The program shared with students the terrible experiences people faced when they
focused on developing an economy without thinking about how to also protect the environment. They faced very many problems and learned much from these mistakes. They did not care very much, so that type of economic growth could not generate sustainable development.

Interestingly, they showed me how they have used environmental policies to help promote awareness and conservation efforts. There are two main types of policies, commandandcontrol and incentive-based procedures. Command-and-control means that if people over pollute or abuse the environmental policy, they will be punished. For incentive based, the government will provide benefits to their citizens or companies who are able to mitigate waste emissions and run environmental-friendly businesses. For example, they can receive tax reductions.

Q: What is the role of including environmental courses in school curricula?

A: Through education, the country will be able to build more responsible leaders. If young generations are more aware of environmental issues and conservation, they will become the next generation of environmental activists. When they become leaders, businessmen, or officers, they will run society in sustainable ways. They will efficiently manage resources. As I said before, if people change their consumption behaviors, there will be changes in the production processes, and that will result in more green factories appearing in society.

Q: What do you think about the future of environmental conditions in the country?

A: I have two different scenarios to share my vision.

If the country continues as it is today poor awareness and a lack of good policies–the country’s environment will be devastated. We will follow the footsteps of some western countries whose resources were depleted

In another scenario, the Cambodian environment can be preserved well if the government implements and establishes better policies.

Aswe can see, the government and non government organizations have discussed a lot of environmental issues lately. So if everyone takes action, our future will be bright.

In addition to being a UC student, Nara Sokhema currently volunteers at three organizations: Khmer Youth Social Development (KYSD), Initiatives of Change Association (ICA), and Help Our Homeland (HOH). She encourages other students to be actively involved in more social activities, especially doing more volunteer work so they can contribute to society. She said she believes that volunteer work will help students gain greater knowledge and valuable experiences that they cannot receive from studying inside a classroom. (SEAW)


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Supporting Scholarships for Students

Roughly 80 percent of University of Cambodia (UC) students are on full or partial scholarship, despite the fact that UC is still a relatively young private university and does not receive any government funding for operations. Accessibility and affordability to higher education will always be one of UC’s primary interests because we understand that many of our rural and urban students would be unable to pursue university studies without the support of UC’s scholarship programs.

Gifts can help UC students, such as Ms. Chum Pheasa, pursue their studies and contribute to the development of Cambodia.

As a recipient of the Samdech Techo Hun Sen–Dr. Haruhisa Handa National Scholarships in 2007, Pheasa was one of 500 academically outstanding students who were offered a full-tuition scholarship that allowed them to pursue their academic studies at the bachelor degree level. Currently a term 8 student in the College of Law, she is interested in research concerning social problems and their relation to political affairs and enjoys learning about Cambodian politics.

She hopes to pursue additional studies and become a lawyer so she can serve the people of Cambodia and continue building democracy. Many of her peers dream of one day studying abroad or potentially leaving the country to work abroad, but not Pheasa.

“I want to stay here and help the Cambodian society. For me, if I can help Cambodia, that is my dream.”

Pheasa believes that UC has provided her with a solid educational foundation and vibrant learning experiences, both in class and through social activities. More confident about her skills and ability to succeed as a result of her UC experiences, Pheasa now actively seeks out exciting learning opportunities to further develop her knowledge and skills, such as interning with the International Republican Institute (IRI).

These rich and diverse learning experiences would not have been possible for Pheasa without the generous support of donors to UC’s Scholarship Programs.

“Donating to scholarship programs at UC makes dreams come true,” Pheasa said. “It helped me as a student. And with more scholarships, more students will have an equal chance to learn and pursue their dreams.”

Chum Pheasa is an inspiring student who strives to contribute to the development and economic growth of Cambodia, and represents one of many outstanding students here at UC who hope to do the very same thing.

UC provides a high-quality education accessible to talented students at every level of income through its UC Scholarship Programs, but the programs need additional support to increase the number of scholarship students and to reach out to a larger pool of diverse applicants. Donations that support student scholarship programs make a high-quality education accessible and affordable to academically outstanding students.

The Impact: Dreams can come true.

UC Aspirations: UC hopes to significantly increase the number of full and partial scholarships it can offer to incoming students, and to instill the spirit of giving in students so they will give back to their communities in the future. By providing more scholarships and offering a rich and diverse learning experience to students, UC aspires to help young people develop into knowledgeable, productive, and caring members of society.

The Opportunity: Giving can change a student’s life. It affords that student a freedom of opportunities and will change not only his or her life, but also that of family members and future generations. Additionally, higher education will have a lasting effect on personal and professional development, and can enhance a student’s ability to make meaningful contributions to society. To support UC Scholarship Programs

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